Thursday, March 31, 2011

Be A Stylish Mommy!

With all of the gorgeous boutique diaper bags here at Little Dudes and Divas, it’s never been easier to be a stylish mommy. Choose from fabulous Ju Ju Be, Amy Michelle, and JJ Cole diaper bags. No matter what your personal taste, we have the stylish diaper bag for you. If you spend your time driving your children all around, it’s not always easy to keep your style up to snuff. If you have the right basic items in your wardrobe, you can achieve a high-end style all around—and still get all your chores done!

We’ve got a few tips.

• Make sure that your closet is organized. This will make it easy to find everything you need when you need it!
• Invest in some jeans that are easy to wear and feel great.
• Have a variety of basic tops in a mix of colors. This way, you can mix and match with neutral items. Layering is always a chic option.
• Be sure that your clothing fits well. If you want to be a stylish mommy, you should choose tailored items that hug your curves in all the right places.
• Include some skirts in your wardrobe—there are many simple cuts that are easy to move around in.
• Accessories always give your look a little extra polish. With a fashionable diaper bag, some great earrings, and a cute necklace, you’ll be ready to tackle just about anything.
• Try wearing lipstick. Even if you don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, wearing lipstick can help you look fresh and vibrant.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Begin Reading with The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Helping your little ones learn how to read has never been more fun.  With the Zoobie Pets Very Hungry Caterpillar toy, blanket, and book combo, you can turn reading into a fun and interactive experience.  Zoobie pets are plush toys, pillows, and blankets all rolled into one.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic children’s book designed, illustrated, and written by Eric Carle.  First published in 1969, it’s been a staple in children’s libraries for decades.  In fact, a copy of the book is sold every 30 seconds somewhere in the world.  Help your children experience the magic of reading with this great toy, blanket, and book combo.

Reading Tips
It’s important for parents to talk to their children as much as possible.  From infancy, this has many benefits.  It can help develop a child’s phonemic awareness (the ability to hear and identify sounds in spoken words).  Children can learn words more easily when they hear them spoken often—and that’s why conversation and reading skills go hand in hand.

You should introduce your children to the written word early on.  Reading familiar stories like The Very Hungry Caterpillar can give children practice reading comfortably using books that they already know.

Incorporating play into the reading process can help children enjoy it even more.  Using the Zoobie Pet while you read the book can really make the story come alive for your child.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Chore/Praise Chart for Self Motivation

It’s easy to keep your kids active and involved if you give them some incentive.  As your kids make the transition from baby to little dude or diva, you can start helping them learn about responsibility.  You could consider making a chore/praise chart for your kids.  There are many benefits to making one of these charts… it’s great for helping children to improve their behavior, and it teaches them to do their chores without any complaints.  We’ve got a few tips to help get you started with your chore/praise chart.

Setting up a Chore/Praise Chart
  • First, you need to decide where you’re going to put the chart.  Each parent should know what needs to be on the chart, and which chores will help the children out the most.  Some examples could be:  talking in a kind tone, helping a sibling, remembering to say “please” and “thank you,” cleaning up after a pet, brushing teeth, etc.
  • Look through some of the great dude accessories and diva accessories at Little Dudes and Divas.  Select a few that you think your kids would enjoy.  Tell them, “We found a fun way to help you remember your chores, learn to get along, and make our family happier, too.”  You can go ahead to explain that they can earn or lose “stars” on the chart according to their behavior.
  • You can even give a value to some of the chores and behaviors.  For instance, which chores are the most important to you?  Assign those the highest value.  For instance, they’ll get 5 stars when the pick up their toys without being told, and they’ll get 2 stars for doing it right away when you ask them.
  • Setting up the chart is a great way to get crafty with your kids.  Let them choose the color and theme for the chart.

Creating a chart like this is a great way to help your little ones become self-motivated.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

What do you pack in YOUR InnoBaby?

So we all know when it comes to organizers, it's uses are based on our creativity! What are your creative uses for your Innobaby Packin' Smart?
InnoBaby has thought of A LOT! Here are their suggestions!

Packin' SMART® Uses
For Kitchen
Do you purchase in bulk from wholesale stores?  Do you need a space saving solution for your kitchen counter.  Would you like to enjoy ice cream or baking time with your kids with less mess.  Store just what you need in Packin’ SMART® and save space!
  • Kitchen Spices
  • Grill Seasoning
  • Sprinkles
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Chocolate Morsels
  • Nuts
  • Coffee
  • Tea 
  • Sugar
  • Cream
For Snacks
Do you need a quick lift by energizing yourself with pre-measured snacks?  Never over-eat and feel guilty about extra calories.  Resolve your snack-attacks with snacks you love in your car, at home, or at your office.
  • Candies
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Powdered drink mix
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Pretzels
    And don't forget to check out our different Diaper Bag videos to see the InnoBaby featured with your favorite diaper bags!

For Baby
How quickly can you prepare formula feeding on-the-go? Do you ever need to resort to satisfy your toddler’s hunger with a bag of crushed Cheerios? How bulky is your diaper bag? Store and carry pre-measured formula and dispense easily with Packin’ SMART®. Keep all feeding needs in one convenient unit. All-in-One solution for baby-sitters, grandparents, and night-time feedings.
  • Infant formula
  • Infant cereal
  • Baby Vitamin
  • Dried fruits/veggies
  • Snacks
  • Disposal bottle accessories
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby toothbrush
  • Baby Orajel
  • Have you seen the How To Video?
For Health

How many prescription bottles and bulky vitamin jars are invading your cupboard?
How do you pack pills and first aid items on-the-go?  Use Packin‘ SMART® to organize everything in one convenient unit.  Store vitamins for the whole family in Packin’ SMART® and place it on your countertop as a reminder.  Dispense vitamins with ease through its funnel-shaped inner lid.
  • Medicine for adults & children
  • Vitamin for adults & children
  • Glucose testing strips
  • Cotton Balls
  • Band-Aids 
And it will fit into most purses. 

For Office
Do you ever have to search through your desk drawer to look for a rubber band? How many times do you purchase an office supply item like paper clips before you realize they were scattered under the drawer organizer? Organize  paper clips, tacks, magnets, and more in your Packin' SMART®. You can clearly see and find the items you need with ease on your desk, in your car, or in your travel bag.

  • Stamps
  • Pins
  • Clips
  • Staples
  • Rubber Bands

For Hobbies

Do you have craft items scattered throughout your craft boxes or drawers? How long does it take to sort through your craft boxes to find the items you need? Would you like to enjoy craft time and jewelry making with your kids without worrying about the mess?  Clean up is a breeze by just stacking the containers and store for future use.
  • Stamps
  • Embellishments
  • Buttons
  • Beads
  • Threads
  • Sewing Kit
  • Jewelry making
  • Nails
  • Fishing lures
  • Coins – coin collecting

For Kids
Great for school craft time or at home with parents or caregivers.  Easy to dispense tiny craft items and easy to clean up by stacking up separate containers.  Also, small toys or hair accessories that are easily lost can be organized easily.
  • Beads
  • Hair Accessories
  • Small Lego
  • Favorite Snack
  • Left over Kool-Aid powder
  • Barbie Shoes
  • Collectibles
  • Coins



For Gifts
Are you looking for that unique gift for your friend or for that special occasion? Packin' SMART® is a great gift for anyone who loves to organize. Make it more personal by filling them with items that they love like baking sprinkles, crafts, beads, scrapbooking items, or office supplies. Have fun by filling it with candies, chocolates, and  nuts  and give away as a unique holiday gift that will be remembered forever.  Gift giving has never been easier !
  • Baby Showers
  • Thank you gifts
  • Wedding favor
  • Graduation gift
  • Kids birthday gift
  • Christmas/Hanukka
  • Easter basket
  • Valentine’s day
  • Halloween
For Pets
Do you like to take along treats for your pets when you're on the go? How do you carry your litter liners when you take your dog for a walk? Do you need a better way to dispense food for fishes or birds and more?  Packin' SMART® is great for storing and dispensing treats, medications, and more for your pets at home and on the go. 
  • Treats
  • Litter liner
  • Medication
  • Bird Food
  • Fish Food

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Helping your Little One Adjust to Daylight Savings Time

Have you recovered from Daylight Savings Time yet? Each year we “Spring Forward” and get an “extra” hour of daylight at the end of the day. (Is it really an extra hour if we lose an hour of daylight at the beginning? Anyway…) It can be tough to get your little ones back on track after the time switch. This is because toddlers just don’t understand Daylight Savings Time, and it can be hard for them to adjust their schedule accordingly.

The biggest problem with the time change is that toddlers are generally used to sleeping a certain number of hours each night. Kids don’t wake up to alarm clocks the way that we do—they use their body clocks! This can result in toddlers waking up at a different time once Daylight Savings Time kicks in. It might not seem like a big deal, but an hour can make a big difference as far as your daily routine is concerned. If you don’t take steps to nip it in the bud early, you’ll end up dealing with a very cranky toddler.

One of the best ways to minimize the effect is to put your little one to sleep an hour earlier before Daylight Savings Time begins. (And an hour later when it ends.) This can help to negate the difference caused by the time change. If you didn’t have the chance to plan ahead this way, the best thing to do is stick to your schedule as much as possible—whether or not your toddler agrees with it! Just stick to the routine, they’ll adjust eventually.

If your little one resists the change, try adjusting a little bit at a time. For instance, push naptime and bedtime back by 15 or 20 minutes each day until they’re back on track. It can be frustrating for you and your toddler, but it just takes a little time! (And a cute Zoobie Pet from Little Dudes and Divas can help make the transition easier, too!)

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who would have thought recycling could be so much fun!?!

I'm a total "garbage" collector and I truly believe "one man's garbage is another man's treasure".
From packing peanuts to shipment packaging, magazines to shoelaces and scrap paper to broken jewelery, you can recycle and create new things that are both creative and sentimental without breaking the bank!

This project is the "magazine instrument" project :)
Playing make believe with the kids is incredible because they don't need much when they use their ever growing imagination. Give them the tools, some inspiration and watch them go!
The Magazine Instrument project is a great activity for kids from start to finish. Teaching them the value of recycling, promoting their creativity and their imagination.

Grab some old magazines, glue sticks, scissors, old shoelaces and a some permanent markers. Use a Sugar Booger apron to keep their clothes clean and a jumbo floor splat mat to keep the floors clean. Don't forget to grab your Made by Angie wipes case in case they get glue on their hands. To start them off, explain how the magazine paper can be folded, rolled and cut. The colorful pages add pizazz to any piece of work and by using old magazines we're RECYCLING!

The instruments include a flute, tambourine, pan flute and a harmonica. This was easy and fun to do and the kids will get a kick out of it. And as a reward for their creativity, get them a Ju Ju Be Be Quick to hold their new instruments. (they can make a mini drum, keyboard, mini guitar and more-if you'd like to see examples let me know and I can make them)

Here we have Peanut Booties! I absolutely LOVED doing this one. This project is for adults and these are great for baby showers. This is made with 2 packing peanuts, scrap cardboard, school glue and thread. You can use this to decorate wine or champagne bottles, baby bottles and more. Get super creative!
You can get a cartoon picture of a stork and play "pin the gender on the stork" where they would have to pin the booties on the stork's neck. Use a Baby Bella Maya headband or an Aden and Anais swaddle to cover their eyes all the while keeping to the baby theme.
Or you can use baby bottles instead of cups for each place setting and hang these booties off each bottle. Have each person write an idea for a name on the back then they can place the booties over a bottle centerpiece or have them throw it into a Ju Ju Be Be Light centerpiece (can't have too many Be Lights and the mom to be will LOVE pulling out the baby names from it). It's fun, sentimental and everyone participates in the baby naming process which makes it more personal.
You can keep the card plain and have each person write their greeting and they can then hang them from one of the shower gifts whether it's a stroller or a diaper bag (this would take the place of a guest book).
Use these as name tags or seating tags!
For a cute gift, make them to fit into a Ju Ju Be Paci Pod, write "thank you for coming" on them and they can use the paci pod as a coin purse.

From the images you can tell the basics of how to do these 2 projects but if you'd like video tutorials, please post a comment here, or on our Facebook wall with your request.

Hope you like the recycling ideas! Get creative and have a blast!

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Rainy Day Activities

It's been raining in NY this week and with the weekend starting, we need to be prepared for some rainy day fun!
Aside from the usual board games, hot chocolate with marshmallows and curling up to watch a movie, there are so many other things to do! Fun, simple and family gathering activities!

The fort:
Firstly.... remember those days when you wanted to build a fort... when mom and dad wouldn't be too welcoming of your new found location in the middle of the living room using the cat to help hold up the broom that held up your mother's favorite (and expensive) bed sheet?
Well how about taking the initiative to build that fort! The type that won't make you break out in tears over holes in that expensive sheet!
Grab the kids and hubby, get your rag sheets and move some furniture around! The kids will love "breaking the rules" with mom and dad! Get into your Peter Pan mode and use your imagination! Make popcorn necklaces as a symbol of the living room tribe. Use the unknowing dog as the gate keeping dragon (a fire beathing dragon of course). Tie a pillow case around their necks to give your little superheroes a way to fly!
You can use a Sugar Booger Apron as a cape, or an InnoBaby Packin' Smart as treasure box. Or tie a Ju Ju Be Be Light to the end of a broom' throw it over your shoulder and you're ready for the journey of bringing the princess back to her kingdom!

Family Collage:
Each member gets a piece of paper and cuts out any shape they want (make sure the shapes are mid size, not too big, not too small) Then you pass your shape to the person next to you where THEY decorate your shape any way they want. You have one minute to decorate the shape then you have to pass it along again.
Keep doing this until all the shapes are filled with each family member's personal touch. Then take turns pasting the shapes onto one piece of cardboard (Use a carton box panel if you'd like) And lastly, race to finish filling in the blank sections.
When you're done, you will have an incredible memory of family fun!
You can use the Sugar Booger Jumbo Splat Mat to protect your floor from the glitter glue fun. Use your Ju Ju Be Be Quicks to store your paint brushes. And grab your Made By Angie handmade wipes case for those messy moments!

And our last idea for this post is Homemade Colored Sand!
Easy to do... with household items... not too messy... even the kids can do it... AND it makes a great gift too!
Your kids will love giving these projects to their favorite people and what's even greater is the many compliments they will get for their work and creativity. It's so important to support a child's creative side and this is a fun, easy and great way to do just that!
Check out the video tutorial:

You can use a Ju Ju Be MightyBe to carry all the things they will need to craft at Grandma's house. They will even have a blast cleaning up with Lil Melon Reusable Wipes and you can get the Itzy Ritzy Wet Bags to store paints for crafts as well as glues in case of spills!
We hope you like this video! Please do comment if you like this video and if you'd like to see more Craft Studio videos.

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